Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dana Hui Lim – What Inspired Me to Write My Book

What Inspired Me to Write My Book

by: Dana Hui Lim

Beginning in 1969 the people of Cambodia were subjected to an outrage as horrific as any in human history. It was smaller in scale than those of Stalin, Hitler and Mao, but no less thorough in execution. I lived under a suffocating blanket of silence for six years, where an unwise word or facial expression could mean that you were punished or killed. I wanted to deal justice to my oppressors and beat them with my fists, but to protest meant a quick trip to a shallow grave. All I could do was to endure and hope that things would change, although after enough time I resigned myself to labour in hunger and misery until I died. Later on, the time I spent in various refugee camps was little better, regardless of the current political views on the subject. I saw people burn themselves to death with petrol as they lost hope. Every day was an unending catalogue of dismal, dark sameness, and I remember it all. I survived though, and in fact my family was relatively lucky to mostly escape intact—if the word lucky could ever be used under such circumstances.

Few of my countrymen have written of their experiences, and most do not even talk about the past, even to their loved ones. It is as if they have edited a segment from their lives and would prefer not to be reminded of it. Cambodian culture has a habit of putting on a happy fa├žade and I don’t blame anyone for that, but it’s just not me. Even though most people don’t want to talk about those years, I thought that it was important that more personal accounts be available. What was the worst that could happen? It was time to do it myself.

For my message to be heard I had to speak on my own behalf or at least write, because I am not quick with English communication. In my new country I could say what I wanted and people may disagree, but they would not stop me. In Australia was freedom of a sort that comes when all of the fetters of the past have fallen away. I felt as if my life had truly begun, and that it would be an insult to those who had died if I did not take advantage of every opportunity.

If I flatter myself, I would like to think that my book might encourage others to write of their own experiences. It is okay to leave the past behind, but many people would benefit from letting out feelings that have been suppressed for so long. I feel that it is also vital that the past not be forgotten, because it does seem to repeat itself with alarming regularity. We all need to be vigilant for the signs of totalitarianism, because it can happen anytime and anywhere. I wrote my book because I remember the past all too well.

Mother and Tiger

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Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Dana Hui Lim on Facebook & Twitter & Goodreads

Website http://odysseybooks.com.au/

Elle Campbell – 10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

by Elle Campbell

Have you ever felt like you cannot do justice to all your thoughts? Have you ever felt that you need to learn to express yourself better? Have you ever read something you wrote and felt like it could be improved? If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, you have come to the right place. A writer is an artist who can make something come alive just by weaving a scene with words. It is not only about imagination. It calls for an uncanny ability to express what you feel, see and think. Still, developing your writing skills can be done by showing a little perseverance and determination. Here are some tips that will definitely help you become a better writer.

1)      Really look around- The key to becoming a good writer is to really observe what is happening around you. Search for inspiration in really mundane objects. Look around you and see what goes on. Clear your mind and you will see everything better and from a different perspective. Learn to see the beauty and raw nature of everything. Sit silently in a place that can really stir your imagination. It can be a crowded place or even a quiet corner of your garden. Pick a place and indulge your senses in everything that unfurls before you. Really see and listen.

2)      Read, read and read- Reading helps develop your brain and tickle your thought processes. You will learn different manners of saying the same thing. The various alluring ways in which authors present their thoughts and ideas will inspire you to develop your own unique style. Also, sentence formation and expression can be learnt by reading a lot of books. Amalgamation of opposites, blending incoherent ideas, mixing up the plot and adding some hint of mystery and uniqueness can all be derived from reading books. Books will help you have an active imagination and create a world of your own.

3)      Indulge your senses- Sight, hearing, smell, taste, etc all constitute important parts of describing something. In order to really describe something, feel it deeply. Think about how it will feel when placed on you, tasted by you or smelled by you. Do not be afraid to get your feet wet. Go and experiment if you have to. Close your eyes and think about what you are hearing. Focus on any one sense at a time to glean knowledge about the object. Change the angle in which you are viewing the object. Change your manner of viewing or hearing to know more.

4)      Passion- Have you ever noticed how nicely you can talk about something that inspires you or something that you are passionate about? The key to becoming a good writer is to be truly passionate about the subject you are writing about. Be sure to know the difference between passion and fanaticism. Venture out of your comfort zone and come up with new ideas that truly motivate you.

5)      Notes- Make a note of everything you feel, hear, see and think. In this manner, you will get into the habit of expressing yourself well. Also, your thoughts and ideas will inspire you later to delve deeper into a subject that you find interesting. Carry a notepad with you wherever you go. Know that each little thought passing through your head has the ability to manifest into something more. Give it the opportunity that it deserves.

6)      Interact with people- Interacting with people will definitely help you broaden your outlook. Knowing what their life’s story is, their trials and tribulations will help you see things happenings around you in a better light. You will be able to analyze more and you are bound to be more knowledgeable about human nature and psychology.

7)      Travel- Seeing all there is to see on this earth will help you gain knowledge and exploit innovative ideas. Also, travelling will help you describe things better. Be sure to mingle with the local people and be a commoner when you decide to see a new place.

8)      Go the extra mile- develop your language and vocabulary. Take a class if you have to. Learn the basic grammar and manners of expression. Consolidate you knowledge of the language in which you are attempting to write something.

9)      Use your imagination- A colorful imagination can come in handy when you are looking to improve your writing skills. View everything in a new light by adding some element of your imagination. Add depth to your thoughts by painting pictures of the words and scenes that you think about. Choose to look at everything that may or may not be happening through your mind’s eye.

10)   Write, write and write- Developing your skills will only be possible if you devote some time everyday to writing down what you think. Re- read what you have written and think about how it could be better. Make someone read what you have written and take their criticism positively. Maintain a journal and jot down what you feel and daily occurrences. Develop the habit of writing by putting aside some time specifically for this purpose.

Becoming better at something is only possible if you have the right amount of dedication and are willing to work hard. Becoming a good writer is no exception to this rule.

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Genre – NonFiction / Beauty & Fashion

Rating – PG

More details about the book

Connect with Elle Campbell on Twitter & GoodReads

Website http://truefashiontrends.com/

The Benjamin Chronicles: Relativity by Matthew DiConti


There was a brightness in front of Conal’s eyes, a white light, almost as though he was staring directly into the sun. But his eyes were closed, squeezed tightly shut against the pain throbbing in the back of his head.

He heard someone screaming in the distance, it sounded as if the voice he heard was coming from under water. He opened his eyes slowly, and his head began to spin. He was nauseous from the pain.

“Conal! Conal!”

The voice was hysterical.

His head rolled in the direction of the sound. His vision was blurred; he could only see blobs of shapes and colors. What was the one moving toward him? The voice got louder as the blob moved.


A familiar face, a pretty face floated above him.

I know her. The face was a comfort, an image he had seen many times before. She seems worried. Why?

It all came back to him as his vision began to clear. The tunnel of light, the shock as he grabbed the handle, the shaking levers, Abby.

“Abby.” Relief shone in her eyes as he wheezed her name.

“Oh, thank God. Conal, I need you to wake up. I don’t know what’s happening. Where are we? I don’t know what to do.” She convulsed in tears, her sobs wracking her entire body.

Conal struggled to sit up, fighting off waves of nausea and the overwhelming desire for sleep. “It’ll be all right, Abby. It will be okay.” He swallowed his words as he surveyed his surroundings.

In truth, he fully expected to wake up on the floor of the gymnasium, humiliated from having hallucinated the entire thing and passing out.

He could not have guessed where he had ended up. His heart was pounding at the possibilities.

And then he was vomiting, his head exploding as his stomach retched and he clutched onto cobblestone in a futile attempt at finding stability.

Clearly he had been knocked out when they landed, or whatever it is that you do in a time machine.

Even a concussion could not keep at bay the sarcastic chuckle under his breath. He hardly dared to let himself imagine that this had actually happened.

The scent of horse manure carried lightly to him on a chilly breeze and he began to gag again. “Oh my God, okay, that’s disgusting.” Don’t worry about me. I’m fine, he thought to himself

Abby cringed bitterly as she helped him to his feet. “I’m sorry, I just don’t do well with throwing up. Are you going to be okay?”

“I’ll be fine.” I don’t have a choice. “Just shaking the cobwebs loose.”

“So do you have any idea where we are?”


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Genre - Paranormal Fiction

Rating – NC17

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Connect with Matthew DiConti on Facebook & Twitter

Elle Campbell – Why Blogging is Important

Why Blogging is Important

by Elle Campbell

Writing is an art, a skill and it is best done by those who have lots of passion for it. As a writer, you want to stand out, get recognized and grow to become a well-known author. However, the biggest challenge lies with getting your work out there. How do you get known? Is it possible for thousands of people to appreciate your work? Well, the answers to these questions lie with the effort and strategies that you use to make your work visible to the right audience. As such, blogging is one strategy that has taken the centre stage in ensuring that writers get the recognition and attention they deserve.

Writers who want to establish a fan base need to use effective strategies to achieve this. Writers who have never tried blogging may wonder how this strategy can help them become well known authors with a long list of fans. True, this is a common concern especially for those who truly do not understand how blogging works or probably have never tried it before. Blogging is natural and it requires some effort. Many kids have been known to scribble something on the back of their books, which has often been dismissed. However, this is actually the beginning of blogging. Good writers can use such writings to calm down troubled thoughts and attain a fan base in the process. The advantages of blogging for writers are in plenty and they will be delved in this article.

Build Trust with Your Audience

Writers who display consistency with their blogs, tend to build a lot of trust and enhance a stronger relationship with their audience. Writers who are inconsistent with their blogging or forget to update the blogs at least twice or thrice a week will definitely lose out to the competition. Keep in mind, that there are thousands of people out there who are actively blogging as they try to build strong online reputations. By being away for just one week, you could end up losing a huge following. Thus, writers who want to establish a fan base should release fresh content often so as to capture the attention of the fan base and keep them alive. By establishing a loyal following, you will be making your way in to becoming a well renowned author. Also, it is worth mentioning that blogging allows you to network with your fans, understand their needs and get fresh ideas.

Blogging is Cost Effective

The costs of constructing and maintaining an effective website can prove to be quite high while the maintenance of a blog is done by one person. The owner customizes the blog and most of the blogging services come at no cost. However, in some cases, the blogger may have to part with a few dollars for customization. Today, the cost of running an effective blog is not above $ 50.00 a year. This means that you can use the blog as a cheap way of marketing your writing. With this approach, you will reach out to your target audience at minimal costs.

More Orders for your Books

Those writers who are looking for additional orders for their books can use blogging to achieve their objectives. The beauty about blogs is that they allow you to work as you advertise the services or products that you are offering. By writing articles that are SEO optimized, you will expose yourself to increased traffic that generates leads, which can easily be converted in to traffic.

Seemingly, blogs have grown to become an integral part of any business and writing is not an exception to this. People blog about all sorts of things such as lifestyle, food, shopping, magazines, pets and so much more. Every subject in the planet is covered in the blogging world. The importance of blogging among writers cannot be underestimated since blogs are kept as a way of maintaining communication with the target audience. The beauty about blogging is that you can receive a healthy and unbiased feedback from your audience and at the same time remain connected with your fan base.

Many writers have used blogging to showcase their work. For example, from my own personal experience blogging for truefashiontrends.com, it opened a whole new gate to readers who are interested in my particular niche. It is a wonderful thing as I find blogging so much fun and it helped me greatly to communicate with better with my readers.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – NonFiction / Beauty & Fashion

Rating – PG

More details about the book

Connect with Elle Campbell on Twitter & GoodReads

Website http://truefashiontrends.com/